Republic of Ireland
Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a sovereign state in north-western Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the part of the island. The state shares its land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, Saint Georges Channel to the south-east, and it is a unitary, parliamentary republic. The head of government is the Taoiseach, who is elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President, the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It was officially declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948, Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955. It joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, after joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth. The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by a financial crisis that began in 2008. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again quickly ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index and it also performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a member of the Council of Europe. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was styled, the Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland. Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland. The 1948 Act does not name the state as Republic of Ireland, because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name Eire, and, from 1949, Republic of Ireland, for the state, as well as Ireland, Éire or the Republic of Ireland, the state is also referred to as the Republic, Southern Ireland or the South. In an Irish republican context it is referred to as the Free State or the 26 Counties. From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, during the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the islands population of over 8 million fell by 30%
Sligo Rovers F.C.
Sligo Rovers Football Club is a professional Irish football club playing in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland. The club was founded in 1928 and have been in the League of Ireland since 1934, the club is a co-operative venture, owned by the people of Sligo. Rovers have played at The Showgrounds since their inception and they recently won a third FAI Cup in four years and in the season previous to this recent cup win became the 2012 Premier Division Champions, winning the title with two games to spare. In total they have won three titles, five FAI Cups and two League cups. On 27 February 2012 Rovers had announced an international sponsorship deal with local car dealers Connollys Volkswagen. Sligo Rovers Football Club was formed on 17 September 1928 as a result of an amalgamation of two sides, Sligo Town and Sligo Blues. Their first game was a 9-1 victory against Ballyshannon in Donegal on 23 September 1928 in the round of the Connacht Cup. The club, elected to the League of Ireland in 1934, hails from Sligo, the home colours are red with white sleeve uppers, with white shorts and socks while the away colours are white with red sides, red shorts and red socks. The third alternative kit is navy with red sleeve uppers, nacy shorts, the club started well by winning the FAI Junior Cup in their first ever season, beating Grangegorman in the final at the Showgrounds 3-0. The following season also brought silverware in the shape of the Connacht Junior Cup with Rovers beating Galway in the final 1-0 after a replay. After this success the club moved up another level the season by joining the Leinster Senior League and played their first game away to UCD in August 1932. The club performed well in their first season at this level eventually finishing third as Brideville won the league. This season also saw The Bit O Red make their first appearance in the FAI Cup, the next year brought yet more glory with the club winning the Leinster Senior League in only their second year at this level. They did so by beating Distillery in a play-off at Tolka Park 3-2 after the teams had finished the league level on points. Following this achievement the club was elected to the Free State League on 28 June 1934 along with Waterford as both Shelbourne and Cork Bohemians resigned from the league, the team finished a highly credible third in that season with Gerry McDaid finishing as top scorer. During this season local Paddy Monaghan won two caps for the Irish national team and is still the man to have achieved this while at the club. The 1936–37 season began in spectacular fashion with Sligo winning their first 11 games, trainer and captain that year was Jimmy Surgeoner in his only season at the club. Top scorer was Englishman Harry Litherland whose record of 19 league goals that season was surpassed by Eoin Doyle in 2011 season scoring 20 league goals, the club also won the Dublin City Cup this year beating Dundalk in the final
Shamrock Rovers F.C.
Shamrock Rovers Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Tallaght, South Dublin. The clubs senior team competes in the League of Ireland Premier Division, the club has won the League of Ireland title a record 17 times and the FAI Cup a record 24 times. Shamrock Rovers have supplied more players to the Republic of Ireland national football team than any other club, in All-Ireland competitions, such as the Intercity Cup, they hold the record for winning the most titles, having won seven cups overall. Shamrock Rovers were founded in Ringsend, Dublin, the official date of the clubs foundation is 1899. They won the League title at the first attempt in the 1922–23 season and established themselves as Republic of Ireland most successful club by 1949, winning 44 major trophies. During the 1950s, the club won three League titles and two FAI Cups and became the first Irish team to compete in European competition, playing in the European Cup in 1957. They won the first of four League titles in a row in 1983–84, the club played at Glenmalure Park from 1926 to 1987, when the owners controversially sold the stadium to property developers. Shamrock Rovers spent the next 22 years playing home games at various venues around Dublin and on occasions and they moved into Tallaght Stadium prior to the start of the 2009 season after years of delays and legal disputes, during which time the clubs supporters saved them from extinction. Shamrock Rovers wore green and white striped jerseys until 1926, when adopted the green. Their club badge has featured a football and a shamrock throughout their history, the club has a relatively large support base and shares an intense rivalry with Bohemian Football Club. On 26 August 2011 Rovers became the first Irish side to reach the stages of either of the top two European competitions by beating Partizan Belgrade in the play-off round of the Europa League. The foundation of Shamrock Rovers is disputed amongst supporters of the club, no official documentation of the era exists. Essentially, the dispute is whether the two years of exhibition games were played before or after the registration. In light of the discovery of evidence supporting a date before April 1899 the club opened a 1899 Suite in Tallaght Stadium in February 2017. Shamrock Rovers originate from Ringsend, a Southside inner suburb of Dublin, the name of the club derives from Shamrock Avenue in Ringsend, where the first club rooms were secured. In September 1906, after a few seasons in operation, Rovers withdrew from the First Division of the Leinster Senior League, in 1914, they were resurrected and started playing their matches at Ringsend Park. However, the park became unavailable within two years, the club disbanded and played only exhibition games for the next five years. The following season, the won the League of Ireland title at the first attempt, going 21 games unbeaten
Patrick Paddy Madden is an Irish footballer who plays as a striker for Football League One club Scunthorpe United. Madden signed league forms with Bohemians on 8 July 2008, and he made his Bohemians first team debut as a substitute in their 2–0 win over Cobh Ramblers on 8 November 2008. Prior to the start of the 2009 season, Madden joined Shelbourne on loan on 10 February 2009, Bohemians manager Pat Fenlon sent the young striker out on loan hoping for Madden to gain vital first team experience. He also achieved a feat by scoring against his own employers for Shelbourne during an EA Sports Cup 2nd round tie at Dalymount Park on 4 May 2009. Maddens loan spell at Shelbourne concluded on 29 June 2009 and he returned to Bohemians. During his loan spell at Shelbourne, Madden made 16 league and cup appearances, on 29 September 2009, Madden scored his first goal for Bohs in a 1–0 victory over Derry City in the Brandywell which led to Bohs returning to the top of the league. In the 2010 season, Madden scored 9 goals in just 5 matches and this form was recognised when he was voted the Soccer Writers Association of Ireland Player of the Month for June. Madden signed for English League One side Carlisle United on 31 January 2011 and he had scored 1 goal in 3 substitute appearances for the Cumbrians this campaign. On 6 October 2012, he made his debut for Yeovil, after going on a run of five goals in five games, he extended his loan until 2013. On 1 January 2013, Madden scored a brace in the match of his loan spell against Leyton Orient ending with nine goals from sixteen games for Yeovil. Following the game it was announced Madden had signed permanently for Yeovil Town for a fee on a two-and-a-half-year deal. Madden then went on to score 4 goals in his first two games as a permanent Yeovil Town player in the month of January, by mid February he was already League One top scorer, with 18 goals, despite only starting playing in October. In an interview with the BBC after this run of form he was described by his manager Gary Johnson as the bargain of the season. Maddens contribution of 6 goals to Yeovils perfect January of 3 out of 3 wins didnt go unrecognised as he won the League One Player of the Month award. Madden scored in the 2013 League One play-off Final as Yeovil beat Brentford 2–1 to earn promotion to the Championship for the first time in the clubs history. Madden ended the season with the League One golden boot with 23 goals, on 26 November 2013, with Madden having failed to score since Yeovils promotion to the Championship, he was placed on the transfer list by the club. On 10 January 2014, Madden signed for Football League Two side Scunthorpe United for a fee, believed to be £300,000. He scored his first goal for the club in a 5–1 win over Portsmouth on 22 February 2014, Madden has represented the Republic of Ireland at U18 and U19 level and made his Republic of Ireland under-21 debut against Armenia in November 2009
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
The Aviva Stadium is a sports stadium located in Dublin, Ireland, with a capacity for 51,700 spectators. The decision to redevelop the stadium came after plans for both Stadium Ireland and Eircom Park fell through, Aviva Group Ireland signed a 10-year deal for the naming rights in 2009. The stadium, located adjacent to Lansdowne Road railway station, officially opened on 14 May 2010, the stadium is Irelands first, and only, UEFA Elite Stadium and in 2011, it hosted the Europa League Final. It also hosted the inaugural Nations Cup, as well as the home fixtures of the national rugby team, national football team. The joint venture has a 60-year lease on the stadium, on expiry the stadium will return to the ownership of the IRFU. The northern end of the stadium, due to its proximity to local housing, the North Stand is to be the away stand for football internationals. There is one basement level and seven storeys of floors including ground level, the premium level holds 10,000 spectators, while the box level holds 1,300. The remaining 38,700 seats are shared between the top and bottom tiers, the stadiums roof is designed to undulate in a wave-like manner so as to avoid blocking light to local residences. The stadium was opened on 14 May 2010 by then Taoiseach Brian Cowen. In 2011, the stadium won a British Construction Industry Award, Irelands first international game was on 6 November 2010 against South Africa, with the Springboks winning 23–21. The game drew a crowd of 35,515, mainly due to a backlash by Ireland supporters over the IRFUs controversial ticketing strategy for the November Test series, initially, the IRFU announced that tickets to the November Tests would only be sold as packages for all four matches. Single-game tickets were to be only for the Samoa and Argentina Tests. On 1 November, the IRFU backed away from this plan amid heavy criticism from clubs that had problems selling the packages in a difficult economy. The winner of the promotion, John Baker of Ennis, was successful, the first official points at the Aviva were scored by Ulsters Craig Gilroy with a try in the O2 Challenge. The stadium also hosts home games for Leinster when the RDS Arenas smaller capacity doesnt satisfy demand. Leinster won their home game in the Aviva against Munster 13-9, in the Magners League season. This league record was exceeded on 29 March 2014 when Leinster again beat Munster, 22-18, Leinster won their first Heineken Cup game in the Aviva 24–8, against Clermont Auvergne in a pool game during the 2010–11 season. During Leinsters successful run to the Heineken Cup title that season, they took their quarter-final and semi-final matches to the Aviva, defeating Leicester Tigers, ulster took their 2012 Heineken Cup semi-final to the Aviva as well, defeating Edinburgh